[Distutils] Deprecating little used file types/extensions on PyPI?

Donald Stufft donald at stufft.io
Tue Aug 16 12:15:01 EDT 2016

> On Aug 16, 2016, at 11:51 AM, Brett Cannon <brett at python.org> wrote:
> One thing to remember is that Windows can't read tar files natively while it can for zip files. Now you can easily download tools on Windows to read tar files and thanks to Bash on Windows you even have it included once you turn that feature on.

This is true, but I think that using .tar.gz by default still makes sense because it’s still the vast bulk of what people actually release to PyPI. So it represents the status quo and switching to zip as the default would break a lot of things.

> The other point is we have a zip importer in Python but not a .tar.gz one. I don't know how often anyone actually downloads a zip file directly from PyPI and then tack it on to their sys.path for importing, but that is currently possible.

A sdist is not an acceptable format for adding to sys.path. While in many, simple cases, it will “just work”, that’s more of an implementation detail than anything else. There are many projects which simply do not run or error out if you do this. I don’t think worrying about something that sort of works, sometimes, is a big deal.

> I doubt either of these points are important enough to continue to support zip files for sdists, but I just wanted to point it out. At worst this is something to think about if we ever do formalize the sdist format and come up with a custom file extension.

If we make a sdist 2.0 with a new format, I do think it makes sense to make it a zipfile like wheel already is (which reduces the internal formats down from 2 to 1), not for the reasons above though, just for consistency with wheel.

Donald Stufft

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